5th Air Force vice commander set to retire after 30 years
August 18, 2005
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Brig. Gen. Bradley Baker is calling it a career.
The 5th Air Force vice commander, who conducted his final flight in a C-130 and took part in the service’s traditional “hose down” last week, will officially retire Jan. 1, officials announced.
Brig. Gen. Joseph M. Reheiser, who’s served as commander of the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., since September 2003 will replace Baker. He’s expected to arrive here this month.
Baker’s formal retirement ceremony will take place this fall at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., where the general plans to settle down with his wife and two daughters.
Baker, a command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours, entered active duty in March 1976.
He attended undergraduate pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., and over the course of his 30-year career, he flew the C-5, C-130, C-21, C-9, CT-39, C-141, KC-135, KC-10 and the C-17.
For three weeks during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979-80, Baker was the pilot of a C-141 that carried personnel, equipment and supplies from a European military base to a classified location, where U.S. Special Forces were preparing for what turned out to be an ill-fated rescue attempt.
He also participated in Desert Shield and Desert Storm and became the first director of Central Command’s Deployment and Distribution Operations Center at the Army’s Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, in early 2004.
“Experiences like [that] and other intangibles that come with serving are the things that keep us doing what we do in the Air Force,” he said.
Baker, who came to Yokota in April 2004, is set to leave the base this fall.